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ZayoHub is building a network of community hubs in remote locations in rural Zambia, aiming to support the delivery of SDG-aligned targets. 

ZayoHub targets communities at the very further point of the “last mile”, in areas that are usually largely excluded from new opportunities. Often lacking transport or phone signal, ZayoHub clients are amongst the very poorest, with least access to education, information or services. 

Local ZayoHubs provide community convening space, and a secure area for storage and equipment. They are equipped with technology and connectivity to facilitate communications, mobile money, and access to a huge range of extension and education materials. Solar power is installed to support the delivery of services, and to provide renewable energy to local households via rental of portable batteries. 

 

The hubs serve as a focus for the delivery of a range of programmes – both private and public sector driven – selected to meet a range of community needs. These programmes support the achievement of a range of SDG-aligned targets, particularly around livelihoods, health, education and gender equality. At the ZayoHub, communities can engage with a range of new opportunities, appropriate to local needs. Livelihoods programming focuses on promoting sustainable incomes. The environmental benefits of renewable power reach into homes, with local traders acting as agents for an innovative and affordable “mobile power” battery rental enterprise, powering lighting and phone charging. Services extend into schools. In any locality, interventions specific to local needs are being delivered through the hub, either by ZayoHub or in partnership with others. 

 
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Hubs are managed by Agents, recruited locally, with skills in community organisation. Each hub typically has one male and one female agent. The agents’ income will ultimately be derived both from the hub’s paid-for services, and from service fees from organisations using the hub. 

Funds from the Unilever & DFID joint ‘Transform Project’ are facilitating the establishment of the first Hubs, and the building of a successful model. Further opportunities for partnership exist at all levels – we are interested in strategic partnerships, as well as support for expansion of the project to new areas, and potential private or non-profit partners for service / product delivery at national or local levels.

Many organisations find that reaching remote rural markets is difficult, expensive and serves fewer people than urban areas or along the road. ZayoHub aims to combine facilitation capacity, a physical venue and technology to offer efficiencies that will bring diverse services to excluded communities.